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March 5, 2015

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Bill to ban cell phones, texting while driving gets final OK

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CARSON CITY – Sen. Shirley Breeden says a lot of people will be mad, but this bill is going to save lives.

Her comments came Saturday after the Senate gave final legislative passage to a bill that bans text messaging and using a cell phone while driving.

By a split voice vote, the Senate approved amendments adopted by the Assembly and sent Senate Bill 140 to Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Breeden, D-Henderson, said the bill would prompt many to buy earpieces because it would be illegal to hold a cell phone while driving.

With the governor's signature the bill will become effective July, 1 but law enforcement officers won’t be able to give citations until January. In the meantime, they can stop a motorist and issue a warning.

Under SB 140, the use of a cell phone is a primary offense and a motorist can be stopped for violating the law, as opposed to the seat belt law, which says not wearing a seat belt is a secondary violation.

The first offense is a misdemeanor with a $50 fine. The second offense carries a $100 fine and the third and later violations are a $250. Those convicted of a third offense will have their drivers’ license suspended for six months.

Law enforcement and fire officials would be exempted during their duties. The bill allows cell phones to be used in answering emergencies.

The bill was approved 12-9 in the Senate and 24-17 in the Assembly.

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  1. I suspect I have a lot of 'emergencies' in my future...

  2. I guess it will be OK to use your cell phone if you have a blue tooth ear piece and can dial or answer the phone without raising it up. So, now you'll see people walking and driving all over with those funny looking ear pieces hanging off their face.

  3. Just hold your wallet up to your ear, and wait while the cop tries to figure out what to charge you with.

  4. How many people are going to be pulled over because the office "thought" they had a phone in their hand? Once you are pulled over, you can be subject to much more.

    I'm not sure I like this at all.

  5. It amazes me it has taken this long for this to happen. It seems to be a fairly "common sense" sort of thing to me to not talk on the phone or text while driving. I'm glad to see something happening, though.

  6. TomD1228,

    If you have never been hassled by a cop on a routine stop then you really don't know how important our Fourth Amendment is.

    I was pulled over in Glendale, California once for not having a registration sticker on my plates. The catch was that I had Texas plates and the registration sticker is on the windshield. I was completely legal, but he and his partner grilled me for almost 45min, including searching my trunk. They found my wife's purse in there and they started thinking foul play since she wasn't with me at the time.

    Metro scares the hell out of me as it is, I don't want them to have any more power than they already have to make life miserable (or deadly) for innocent people.

    This law makes it even easier for cops to trample over us without just cause.

  7. It is about time that this law was passed. I don't know how many times a day I see people with a cell phone glued to their ear driving down the road. And if your not using your cell phone then you have nothing to worry about.

  8. "And if your not using your cell phone then you have nothing to worry about." - el_diablo_loco

    Don't bet on it.

  9. The number of traffic accidents will go way down.

  10. Why do I feel this is to trap tourists that will be clueless why they're being pulled over... but hey at least it will bring in more money for the city... perhaps enough to where we can build a stadium... we'll call it.."Tourist Trap Ball Park".

  11. Driving is a privilage not a Right. Obuse it loose it. Second who wants to live with the memory of causing an accident or even worse a fatility because talking on a phone was a priority. Less accidents and etc and insurance rates go down. All of us who do not talk or text while driving should be protected against people who think they do not have to follow the rules of the road.

  12. Well...if the cognitively impaired governor can sign this into law it is a reasonable first step. Meanwhile:

    "The study reinforced earlier research by Strayer and Drews showing that hands-free cell phones are just as distracting as handheld cell phones because the conversation itself -- not just manipulation of a handheld phone -- distracts drivers from road conditions.

    Human Factors Editor Nancy J. Cooke praised the study: "Although we all have our suspicions about the dangers of cell phone use while driving, human factors research on driver safety helps us move beyond mere suspicions to scientific observations of driver behavior.""

  13. Go to Glendale sometime, they are as bad or worse than Metro. There was one incident where they arrested a black man for picking up a wallet from the ground. After keeping him in jail for 24 hours they let him go after they discovered it was his.

    I was raised to trust cops, but after 57 years on this planet I no longer have that attitude, especially in this town.

  14. Vegas drivers are some of the worst in the nation. Banning cell phones will do little to improve this. Common courtesy and decorum cannot be taught or forced upon people.

  15. Well, it was bound to happen that I agree with Mr. you indicated, holding a cell phone is certainly not the issue...millions of us do it daily without crashing into things...good work, Mr. Schaffer...unfortunately, most of our fellow commenters will not bother with factual information, as emotions, perceptions, and anecdotal stories rule their lives...worse, of course, is that we are subjected to their lives ruling ours...

  16. It's OK to be correct once in a while Purgatory...

  17. I will add two serious comments to Purgatorie's comment.
    1) The study I referenced makes it clear that using a cell phone increases the risk of accident to the same degree (or more!) that driving intoxicated does.

    2) The person on the other end of your conversation, unlike a person who is in the car with you, has no idea when to stop talking and let you focus on keeping yourself out of an accident.